Making a 1950s Cocktail Dress: The Lining


I finally picked up the lining for my dress, which means I spent last weekend making both the skirt and bodice pieces. I settled on a cream-colored lining fabric because it really makes the lace pattern pop.


Fabric differences

I used the pattern I made to cut out the lining so, theoretically, the lining should have come out the same as the shell. Turned out it didn’t, and I blame the fact that the lace is stretchy while the lining is not.


I had to take in all three seams in the shell skirt, but only one in the lining skirt. And the bodice was plenty tight with a narrow seam allowance.


I fitted the shell and lining pieces together to make sure they’ll end up matching. I think the adjustments I made will deliver a good final product.

Next steps

I haven’t put the four pieces (bodice shell and lining, and skirt shell and lining) together yet because I want to finish the seams. I purchased a serger with my tax return (I consider it an investment), and once that arrives, I’ll use it to finish my seams.


I’ve never used a serger before, so I’ll have a bit of a learning curve. There’s a craft store by me that does private serger classes, so I might take one to expedite the learning process – I’m on a deadline, after all. For anyone who’s curious, I got the Singer 14J250 Stylist II. It has a lot of positive reviews and many users say it’s good for people who haven’t used a serger but are familiar with a sewing machine.

Once I finish the seams, I can put the pieces together and actually have a dress I can wear. In the meantime, I’ll work on a petticoat, so you should start seeing posts for that soon.



2 thoughts on “Making a 1950s Cocktail Dress: The Lining

  1. I absolutely love how your dress is coming along so far. I made a wrap dress a while back out of a green thin stretch knit that I had plans to put a layer of beautiful black stretch lace fabric over… I never did put the lace on my finished dress because it sewed up MUCH worse then I anticipated. You inspired me to try to find a use for the lace fabric I have again.

    • Thank you! I’m glad you’re feeling inspired. Lace is fun to work with and I’ve been enjoying it. Keep up the good work!

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